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Districts take steps to keep staff and students safe during pandemic


SALINAS, Calif. (KION) While nearly all Central Coast schools are not allowed to hold in-person classes, some staff members still have to return to school offices.

Alisal Union School District staff members and anyone entering the office must get their temperature checked with a special thermal scanning machine.

“Safety is our number one priority as we open school this year,” AUSD Superintendent Jim Koenig said.

The district also has larger thermal scanners which they plan to utilize in the future, if they’re able to hold in person classes again. While some scanners can only take the temperatures for one person, this scanner can take the temperatures for multiple individuals at one time.

“All the kids will go through a single spot, a single area, and they’ll maintain social distancing while they’re doing this but this machine will allow us to screen large numbers of kids during the morning rush that we usually have,” Koenig said.

While most schools are closed for now, preschools are allowed to remain open for in-person instruction.

Coastal Community Preschool in Santa Cruz is implementing several safety 
measures to keep their kids safe, including limiting who’s allowed to come in, requiring temperature checks and increasing sanitation efforts.

“You’re taking a whole basket of toys and disinfecting them and letting them air dry,” Program Director Stephanie Simmons said.

The preschool also encourages kids to wear masks and sends them home for cleaning when needed.

Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties are all on the states 
monitoring list so they’ll have to continue with distance learning for now, 
but if the pandemic improves, districts may consider in person classes. 

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Elisha Machado

Elisha Machado is a weekend anchor and multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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